Do not dry hair while asleep

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Highway 35 between Courtland, Va. and I-95 south of Petersburg is perhaps one of the longest, not to mention most boring stretches of nothing on God’s green earth.

It was along that two-lane strip of asphalt where I found myself on a bright and sunny morning on Sunday. I was making the trip to pick-up my sister, Cindy, who had just spent the past few weeks visiting her daughter, my niece Betsy, who lives in Richmond.

Anyway, to pass the time of pure boredom I tuned in to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour station on the satellite radio. There, a comedian (I can’t recall his name) was talking about how stupid the warning label was on a hair dryer recently purchased by his wife.

“Do not use while asleep,” he said of that label.

Well, duh, what idiot would use it while they were asleep?

His stand-up bit reminded me of a column I penned back in January of 2005. It dealt with hilarious product warning labels, some that I will share again in this space.

Listed on the side of an electric iron – Never iron clothes on the body.

I found two warning labels glued to the handle of an upright vacuum cleaner – (1) Do not use to pick-up gasoline or flammable liquids, and, (2) Do not use to pick-up anything that is currently burning.

Found on the side of a 35mm camera – Camera only works with film inside.

The winner of the “I’m Glad This Information Is Listed” award goes to those little bags of peanuts handed out on an airline flight. The words printed are simple – Open Bag, Eat Nuts.

Believe it or not, but TV dinners also carry a warning label. They are twofold in nature; (1) Dinner must be heated before eating, and, (2) After heating, product will be hot.

Labels can also be used as a gimmick to purchase a product. For example, I saw this in the grocery store, printed on a bag of potato chips, “You may be a winner. No purchase necessary. Details inside.”

This label was printed on the box of a 500-piece puzzle – Some assembly required.

We’ve all seen this one on a lawnmower, but it’s still funny to share – Do not attempt to remove blade while mower is running.

Listed on the side of a liquid drain-opener product – Do not reuse container to store beverages.

Beer companies are also warning consumers of their products – Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems. (I swear I read that label off a can of beer in the grocery store, not while relaxing in my recliner.)

Found on a box of matches – Contents are flammable, may catch fire.

Printed on a rain gauge – Suitable for outdoor use.

On a bottle of aspirin – Do not take if allergic to aspirin.

Not limiting myself to funny warning labels, I found this in the instruction manual of my telephone here at the office – To place or answer a call, lift the handset. To place a call, dial the desired number using the keypad on the front of the unit. To end a call, place the handset back into the cradle.

As an added piece of advice (and I’m so glad they informed me of this), the telephone operation manual said to place a call on hold, press the hold button.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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